Image of Forest Breath, 2018, stereoscopic 3D Video installation
Forest Breath is a vertical slice of stereoscopic 3D video of the forest.
Shot in June 2016 by Professor Leila Sujir, the video records particular moments in the forests around Port Renfrew, primarily in south Walbran, near Emerald Pool, as well as in the Red Creek Fir area, all in the traditional territories of the Pacheedaht people.
The video space has volume, a blur of colors, as it moves from one space of the forest to another. The space of the video, like the space of the forest, becomes a site of contemplation and research.
These forests drew Leila as a space of research and a space of healing.
These west coast forests are where her mother took her as a young twenty four year old, after an operation for cancer. She didn’t die, to her surprise. The forest was where she found wonder and learned how to be alive again.
Leila's aunt Manorama Savur’s last major research project* which she talked extensively to her about was on the destruction of the bamboo forests of India and the resulting desertification as a result of the deforestation, two words which were and still are mysterious.
When Leila started the Forest Breath project, in June 2016, a year had almost passed since her mother had passed away, on her birthday, June 19; as a way of anticipating that strange collision, the anniversary of her death and her birthday, she started this project in the forest.
*Manorama Savur, And the Bamboo Forests in the Indian Forests: What did the Pulp and Paper Industry do? Manohar Publishers, 2003.
About the artist
Leila Sujir is an artist and associate professor at Concordia University in the Intermedia (Video, Performance, Electronic Arts) area. She is working on new video projections: one on the forests near Port Renfrew on the west coast of Canada that she has received Canada Council support (2022), forest! documents, and one continuing her focus on migration.